So far, Governor Strickland’s only response to filling the massive $8 billion deficit upcoming in the next budget has been to beg the federal government for more money.
Well, he may want to start thinking of other ideas one of these days. Because, well, he’s the Governor.
A debate is raging over whether stimulus funds are actually helping states weather the recession or simply enabling them to postpone matching a record drop in tax revenues since 2007 with badly needed spending reforms and cuts.
President Obama wants to provide the states with an additional $50 billion in health and education funding, on top of $135 billion in such stopgap funding provided in last year’s $862 billion stimulus bill. That amount, which the president insists is essential to prevent the layoff of thousands of teachers, police and firefighters, would plug about 40 percent of an estimated $125 billion in budget gaps the states collectively face this year.
Congress so far has balked at extending such a generous state aid package. It appears in trouble in the Senate, where legislators are increasingly concerned about the federal government’s own severe budget problems.
Needless to say, the massive unpopularity of the first stimulus has made such massive spending to prop up government quite unpopular in DC. If congress is so pensive to pass this legislation now, imagine how unattractive such a bill would be come January with a slew of new Republicans in congress based on campaigns that were built around bringing fiscal responsibility to Washington.
In other words, a federal bailout is incredibly unlikely.
And whatever happened to following what we learned as children? Clean up your own mess.
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, state spending grew by nearly 60 percent to $1.5 trillion between 2000 and 2008, a period when revenues came flooding in, particularly as a result of the housing boom.
“They are artificially propping up a level of spending that can no longer be supported by the economy,” Mr. Williams said. “Rather than fundamentally reshaping government to reflect declining state revenues for some time to come, they are relying on accounting gimmicks, one-time funds, and federal stimulus money to balance the budget.”
And there it is. The true difference between Ted Strickland and John Kasich.
The Republican understands that it’s time to fundamentally reshape government.
The Democrat want to rely on gimmicks, tax increases, and federal stimulus dollars that aren’t coming.
Ohioans have a choice. On November 2nd, we’ll see what they prefer.